“Tender Thoughts,” John William Godward, 1917, WikiArt.

Part 2: Sofia, Divine Charioteer

“O! Flaming essence who are you?” I asked,
At gown-shrouded feet kneeling, forehead
Ground touching, “Rise, Tizmay, listen and
Learn. No goddess am I, no ambrosia-heavy
Breast, but Sofia, Virtue of Wisdom.” Thus,
She related, antiquity legend shared, young
Woman as myself, except dark-eyed Roman
Or Etruscan, Apennine shepherd-wanderers
Originating from time itself, when truth and
Wisdom from mountaintops rang aloud.

Ancient portico steps, table appeared before
Me, Sophia, I supped wine, took honeyed figs,
Bread, her marble gown sunlight limned, face,
Arms rose-petal flesh transformed. “More you
Must know, Tizmay,” Sofia confided. “Once
Four of us existed, virtues, each with her
Domain, misty heights residing, no threat of
Opposition. Over decades, unity, influence
Eroded, altars toppled, no guidance from our
Divine charioteer,” Sofia in sadness admitted.

In sympathy, single kiss I, Tizmay, offered,
All round me blurred, time-place asunder
Torn. Sofia’s hands my face cupped, lips to
Mine, deific breath instilled, flame-consumed,
Wisdom’s consciousness my mind entered,
Then another, until, in sunlit radiance, all
Faded virtues within me dwelt. What elixir
Sipped? Arm’s reach, vine-entangled statue
Stood, these words weathered stone uttered:
“All real is dreamt, all dreamt is real.”

This poetic Sofia is variant of classic virtue, wisdom. For more, see this link.
For now Tizmay is mortal repository of the four cardinal virtues:
Prudence, Courage, Temperance, and Justice. Thanks for reading.

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